When you are as into music as much as I am, it is nice to have someone to talk about music with. As you might already know, my wife hates 90% of the music I like, so that leaves her out. I have a friend at work who I met through talking about music. Doug listens to a lot of similar stuff, so it is easy for us to strike up a conversation. “Have you heard this band?” “Do you have this album?” “What’s coming out Tuesday?” usually follow “What’s up?” During one of those conversations, Doug asked what I had for red dirt metal. I had not heard the term before, so I gave him my “Huh?” look and said, “What’s that?” Doug described it to me as heavy southern rock, but with roots in, well, areas where red dirt is dominant. Two of the bands that are the epitome of the genre would be Texas Hippie Coalition and Shotgun Rebellion. Texas Hippie Coalition is from Texas, Shotgun Rebellion from Oklahoma. A new band that would definitely fit these criteria is Anti-Mortem. Their debut album, “New Southern,” hit the shelves on April 29, 2014.
Brothers Larado Romo (Vocals) and Nevado Romo (Guitars) along with Zain Smith (Guitars), Corey Henderson (Bass) and Levi Dickerson (Drums) formed Anti-Mortem in 2008 in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Being that the average age of the band members is only 21, they have many newer as well as more traditional southern rock influences to draw from. The album opener ‘Words of Wisdom’ is built on a riff that sounds like it was one of Zakk Wylde’s left over from “Sonic Brew.” The Pantera influenced guitar tone is huge on ‘100% Pure American Rage.’ ‘I Get Along With the Devil’ and ‘Path to Pain’ are two of the best songs Hellyeah hasn’t written. Then there is the trio of songs that close out the record; ‘Stagnant Water,’ ‘Truck Stop Special,’ and ‘Jonesboro.’ They sound like Black Stone Cherry has a pissed off little brother. These tunes are more raw and edgy than anything Black Stone Cherry has produced. The aggression in the lyrics and the music are palpable and make you want to think twice about leaving the main road if you are ever driving through Okie country.
Anti-Mortem is on to something good. Their combo of southern rock and metal is infectious. They do not use their influences too literally and put their own spin on everything. Anti-Mortem has the potential to be huge and I cannot wait to watch them grow.